I read Lois Lowry’s The Giver without having any background on the story, which I think was an interesting way to approach it (in that the premise gradually dawned on me as I absorbed details in the first few pages, rather than going into it already knowing what was going on). So I shall attempt not to spoil it for you.
The book is YA dystopian fiction, but an old school version, so it’s not about teenage love affairs and vampires and whatnot. Rather it’s the dystopian genre at its best–asking readers to think about society and what logical outcomes of our beliefs might be.
I saw the book billed as being for 8-12 year olds, but I question that. The prose is certainly simple enough–Jack (6 1/2) could read the words easily–but the concepts might not mean a lot to a younger kid, and certain aspects of the story would likely be confusing or disturbing.
But for a thoughtful middle school kid or older, the book might work if you were going to discuss it with him or her.
I read The Giver for a book club and found it compelling and interesting. If you’re a fan of the genre, I think you’d find it tamer in some ways than current offerings, but better in some ways too.
If you’ve read The Giver, what age were you when you read it and what did you think?
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